A lymytour, a ful solémpne man.
In alle the ordres foure is noon that kan
(= a limiter, a very dignified man. / In all the four orders there was no-one who could)
A limiter was a Friar authorized to beg within a certain area by the bishop of that Friar’s diocese.
The ‘ordres foure’ refers to the for orders of Friars: Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites and Augustinians.
In this couplet, Chaucer uses assonance to repeat the vowel sound of the long “a” as in “awe,” in the words “solempne,” “man,” “alle,” “that,” and “kan.” When read aloud, one has to drop their jaw repeatedly in order to make this elongated “a” sound. This action causes the long “a” to come out in a very low tone. In addition, the line above this couplet describes the Friar as “wantowne” or “undisciplined,” and “merye,” or “happy and delightful.” In the line below the couplet, the Friar is described as “enjoying fair language.” The elongated “a” sound in the couplet reflects these qualities of the Friar, as the sound brings to mind an image of a bellowing, jovial person who enjoys talking and is confident of self. The elongated “a” sound reflects this love for words, as it emphasizes the pronunciation that goes into the way the Friar speaks.
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